What's Your Conflict Style?

How to Use Our Relationship Check-In Template to Grow Emotional Intimacy

communication post-it notes relationships Jul 16, 2023
relationship check-in template

We all know the power of gratitude and its effect on our overall well-being. But did you know that incorporating it into your weekly routine could potentially strengthen your relationship and create a healthier, happier partnership? In this blog post, we will explore a relationship check-in template that incorporates gratitude as a key aspect, using simple tools like Post-It notes and a few minutes of intentional reflection. Let's learn how to leverage this relationship check-in list for better communication, connection, and gratitude in your relationship.

To find out more about our Relationship Check-In Template - click here

Or here if you want 20 Questions For Emotional Intimacy

 Marshmallows and the Importance of Delayed Gratification

Before diving into the check-in process, let's visit a classic psychology experiment that highlights the significance of delayed gratification - the Marshmallow experiment. Although it involved children and marshmallows, the study has important implications for adults, particularly in understanding our relationships.

To put it briefly, the study found that children who could resist the immediate temptation of eating one marshmallow, with the promise of getting two later, performed better in various life aspects such as SAT scores and maintaining a healthy BMI. There were, of course, other societal and cultural factors at play, but the ability to delay gratification proved to be a significant aspect of self-control.

When a similar experiment was conducted with adults, interestingly, the results revealed that the participants who could resist the immediate gratification of a smaller reward were those who could cultivate a feeling of gratitude.

So, what's the correlation between gratitude and relationships? It's all about enhancing our future-thinking ability. It appears that gratitude doubles the value we place on a future reward, making us more likely to delay instant gratification for a more meaningful return in the future. That is why in my Couples Check-In, Check-List Activity, it's the #1 question I have people ask. But what is a check-in?

The Concept of a Relationship Check-In

A relationship check-in is a regular practice where partners set aside time to connect and communicate with each other. It involves discussing various aspects of the relationship, including emotions, needs, and goals. The purpose of a check-in is to promote open and honest communication, strengthen the bond between partners, and address any concerns or issues that may have arisen. It is an opportunity for both individuals to express themselves, listen to each other, and work together towards a healthier and happier relationship.

During a relationship check-in, partners can use a check-in template or checklist to guide their conversation. This template may include questions or prompts that cover different areas of the relationship, such as intimacy, communication, and shared goals. It provides a structure for the check-in and ensures that important topics are addressed.

Incorporating Gratitude into the Relationship Check-In

Now that we understand the concept of a relationship check-in, let's explore how gratitude can be incorporated into this practice. Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can have a transformative effect on relationships. When partners express gratitude towards each other, it fosters a sense of appreciation, validation, and connection.

To incorporate gratitude into your relationship check-in, we created a gratitude-focused check-in template. which is shared using Post-It notes. If you don't use our template - make your own, We suggest that before the check-in, each partner can take a few minutes to write down something they are grateful for in their partner or the relationship. These notes can then be shared and discussed during the check-inIncorporating gratitude into a relationship check-in can have a profound impact on the overall health and happiness of the partnership. By expressing gratitude towards each other, partners foster a sense of appreciation, validation, and connection. This simple practice can strengthen the bond between partners and promote open and honest communication.

By including gratitude in the relationship check-in, partners are able to express their appreciation for each other and the positive aspects of their relationship. This can help to create a more positive and supportive environment where both individuals feel valued and cherished.

Additionally, research has shown that gratitude enhances our future-thinking ability, making us more likely to delay instant gratification for a more meaningful return in the future. By focusing on what we are grateful for in our partner and relationship, we are able to shift our perspective towards the long-term benefits and rewards of investing in our partnership.

More Reading Ideas:


A few pointers on gratitude:

  • You can't repeat the same gratitude points week after week.
  • Write down three very different things.
  • Revisit the memory associated with each point while writing, allowing you to savor the moment.
  • Be vulnerable and go for less obvious points.
  • Embrace the gratitude expressed towards you without dismissing it.

Each Post-It note, with your partner's gratitude points, is a gift you can cherish. This little token of love can be placed in your car, on your mirror, or tucked in your journal. Over time, these gratitude notes will serve as a testament to your growing bond.

Establishing a regular check-in schedule

Regularly scheduled check-ins are important in a relationship or marriage for several reasons. Firstly, they provide a dedicated meeting time and space for partners to communicate and connect with each other. In the busyness of everyday life, it can be easy to overlook the importance of regular communication. By having a scheduled check-in, partners are reminded to prioritize their relationship and make time for each other.

Secondly, regular check-ins allow partners to address any issues or concerns that may have arisen since the last check-in. It provides an opportunity for open and honest communication, allowing both individuals to express their needs, desires, and any challenges they may be facing. This can help prevent small issues from escalating into larger problems that could negatively impact the relationship.

Furthermore, regularly scheduled check-ins help partners stay connected and on the same page. They provide a space for partners to share updates on their lives, discuss future plans, and align their goals and visions for the relationship. It allows both individuals to feel heard, understood, and supported, fostering a sense of unity and teamwork.

Lastly, having a regularly scheduled check-in promotes accountability and encourages partners to actively work on their relationship. By setting aside dedicated time to check in with each other, partners are reminded to invest time, effort, and energy into their relationship. This can help prevent complacency and ensure that both individuals are actively involved in nurturing and maintaining the relationship.

To find out more about our Relationship Check-In Template - click here

Weekly Relationship Check-In Questions: Tim Ferriss's 3 Essential Questions

The relationship check-in template includes weekly relationship check-in questions that can effectively anchor your gratitude practice and provide a structured conversation platform. Inspired by Tim Ferriss's essential relationship questions, this activity guides you and your partner to discuss:

  • What is my partner doing well?
  • What am I doing well?
  • What do I desire even more of?

This approach encourages expressing gratitude, using 'I' statements, and directly communicating your needs, hence preventing criticism or attacks. Writing down the responses promotes accountability and integrity in the relationship.

To find out more about our Relationship Check-In Template - click here

The Power of Ritual in Relationship Check-Ins

The Post-It note gratitude activity and weekly check-in questions don't just provide a platform for communication; they also help establish a meaningful ritual in your relationship. Rituals, an integral part of human civilization, help strengthen relationships by providing security and fostering connection.

By following this relationship check-in list consistently, you're intentionally setting aside time each week to connect and communicate, hence building a foundation of trust. The act of writing and sharing Post-It notes adds an element of accountability, paving the way for deeper discussions and solutions.

I've found that couples who have incorporated this ritual into their busy working lives have experienced transformative effects. Some even involve their children, making it a family ritual that sets the tone for the week ahead.

The My People Patterns Check-In Check List

This was designed for busy couples who may just want to fill in a form on a weekly or monthly basis. The template spells out exactly what you need to write, and when paired with the post-it note idea, the couples I've shared this with have loved it, and reported that they loved it and that it helped them reconnect. You can download the PDF here or use the questions in this blog post and video to help with your relationship growth - either way you will be satisfied with improvements in communication.

Whether you're dealing with relationship challenges or just want to nurture your bond, this relationship check-in template offers a practical tool for meaningful communication and connection. With weekly gratitude practice and intentional reflection, you're not just enhancing your relationship but also fostering a healthier, more joyful life. Feel free to try this approach and observe the positive shifts in your relationship.

Remember, just as the child resisting the marshmallow, it's about nurturing the patience and gratitude for a more rewarding future. It might be tempting to bypass these simple acts of gratitude and connection, but they're the building blocks of a sturdy, long-lasting relationship.

To find out more about our Relationship Check-In Template - click here

Tips For Effective Communication During The Check-In

Here are four tips for effective communication during the check-in that will keep conflict to a minimum and help improve satisfaction with how you re spending your time.

1. Use active listening techniques: Practice fully engaging and focusing on your partner's words and non-verbal cues. Avoid interrupting or mentally preparing your response while they are speaking. Show empathy and understanding by nodding, summarizing their points, and asking clarifying questions.

2. Use "I" statements: When expressing your thoughts and feelings, use "I" statements instead of "you" statements. This helps to avoid blame and criticism and keeps the conversation centered on your own experiences and emotions. For example, say "I feel hurt when..." instead of "You always do this..."

3. Avoid blame and criticism: It's important to create a safe and non-judgmental space during the check-in. Avoid blaming or criticizing your partner for their actions or behaviors. Instead, focus on sharing your own feelings and needs, and work together to find solutions and compromises.

4. Stay open-minded and non-defensive: Remember that the checkin is a time for open and honest communication. Be willing to listen to your partner's perspective and be open to feedback. Avoid becoming defensive or shutting down, even if the conversation becomes challenging. Stay calm, take deep breaths, and respond with understanding and empathy.



Learn more about conflict, family systems and growing great relationships

My People Patterns shares the best tools, techniques and knowledge from a family systems perspective - all aimed at helping you grow great relationships. Hit subscribe to learn more about our S.O.F.T approach to healthy connections.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.